If you take anything away from this review and others, it's “buy this game” – you will not be disappointed.
For those familiar with the Total War:Rome seies you will find yourself in familiar territory here. The campaign tactical map plays out pretty much the same way with some excellent tweaks and improvements (such as chosing if you want a castle for a military stronghold or a city for an economic stronghold).
For those not familiar with the Total War series there are elements of Civ IV strategy, but this is built upon with stunning 3D battles played out by your units. The battles themselves are intense and just plain ‘fun’ to play and watch. I would go so far as to say some of my best gaming experiences have come watching my flaming catapults decimate the enemy ranks in a night battle. The ability to manipulate the camera fast and to virtually any angle only adds to atmosphere that can be created.
The only criticism I could find is that the AI on ‘medium’ setting sometimes does some silly things (like stand there and get slaughtered by your siege equipment – which to be honest is a lot of fun to watch), however I haven't got the bravado to try AI on ‘hard’ as of yet.
Put simply this is the best game I have played this year or even the year before or the year before that. The dynamic campaign ensures some degree of re playability as will the expansion that will no doubt be released sometime in the future.
5/5 Simply brilliant. Buy it, you wont be disappointed.